Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tuition-free community college proposed in Oregon

Statesman Journal
December 11th, 2014


Some states are picking up the tab for community college tuition, and Oregon could be next.
Under a draft bill in the Oregon Legislature, tuition not covered by federal and state grants would be waived for some high school graduates. Students would still be required to contribute $50 per course.
"I think it's reasonable," said Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, chairman of the Senate Education & Workforce Development Committee. "We're saying we're throwing open the doors to community college to any high school graduate in Oregon."
It's a plan that will likely help more middle-class students than low-income. But it's also a proposal the Beaverton lawmaker called realistic when it comes to costs.
In September, committee members got an overview of different scenarios for a free community college tuition program from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Annual costs ranged from $8.9 million to $226.9 million.
The nonprofit looked at different assumptions, including whether the state would pay for room and board, a cost that is significantly more than tuition.

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